My very first group as a music therapist here at West Music is starting this afternoon! It is a music club for teenagers and young adults with intellectual and or physical disabilities. At this moment (1:19 pm) I am a surprisingly healthy mixture of anxiety and excitement. My group begins at 4:00 pm and I am prepared. Wait, I am more than prepared. The registration templates are set, my agenda is written and practiced, my list of upcoming events is written and printed, and my music is performance ready. I even have one group member completely registered and paid-in-full! My level of preparedness is helping to alleviate my anxiety and may be what pulls me through the next 2.5 hours.
So, why am I a bundle of emotions? Well, I suppose it has to do with not knowing if anyone (besides my lone registrant!) will attend. And of those who attend, will I be able to provide them with the stimulating environment that they need? I am beginning to think that all of these thoughts boil down to the question, “Am I ready for this?”
While in college, not so long ago, I imagined creating and perpetuating recreational groups as well as therapeutic groups. I have trained for this. All of my experiences leading ensembles and teams of varying abilities and ages are blending together in a veritable stew of knowledge that will, hopefully, lend itself to confidence building.
Perhaps this is why I am also experiencing excitement. This is MY group. I am responsible for its success and/or failure. Ownership can be a powerful motivator or deterrent, in my personal experience. The possibility of success is motivating, even somewhat intoxicating. Failure, on the other hand, is a daunting and unsettling reality. Great, now I am anxious again.
Now I will stop writing. Blogging will resume after the group has ended.
My group has finished! I had a goal of four registered participants, and my goal has been met. The young ladies who attended all expressed an interest in continuing because of the time they enjoyed with one another.
I suppose that is really what this whole group is about. Not about me or how I feel but about meeting the needs of young people. Hopefully, I am a small part of what can make the lives of these ladies as rich and fulfilling as they want them to be.
Is it time for the next group yet?
Please visit the Music Therapy site for more information on programs at West Music.